Valtteri Bottas fastest in French Grand Prix first practice

Bottas led Hamilton by 0.335 seconds while Verstappen was just 0.007secs behind his title rival, who he leads by four points after six races. Bottas and Mick Schumacher also damaged their cars in off-track moments, and the Finn’s moment at Turn Two prompted Mercedes to complain to race director Michael Masi about the damage caused by the yellow exit kerbs which he had run over. The same happened to the tyres on Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari when he went off track. There are more stringent checks on both tyre pressures and rear wing strength after two controversies this year – the tyre failures suffered by Verstappen and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll at the last race in Azerbaijan, and accusations that Red Bull and other teams have been running rear wings that flex back on straights in ways that contravene the intention of the rules.

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